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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
Interviewee: Frank Tuttle
Interviewer: Robert Johnson
Date: July 26, 1974
J: This is an Oral History interview, and the date is July 26, 1974. I am talking this
morning with Dr. Frank W. Tuttle, Professor Emeritus, the College of Business
Administration here in the University of Florida in Gainesville. Dr. Tuttle, let us
begin with just some basic biography. When and where were you born, sir?
What part of the country is your family from?
T: I was born in State College, Pennsylvania, in 1896. My father taught chemistry
there for a good many years. In 1906 we moved to Lexington, Kentucky, where I
went through the public school system and graduated from the University of
Kentucky with an A.B. degree in 1920.
J: Was that in business, or was that in?
T: No, strangely that was in mathematics.
J: I see.
T: But in my junior year I became interested in economics. In order to avoid
departmental conflicts, I was advised to go ahead and get my degree in
J: I see.
T: With a minor in economics.
J: The University of Kentucky is a beautiful university. I went to Western Kentucky
in Bowling Green for two years. It was a teachers' college then. I think it was
perhaps even a normal school in those days. But it is progressed from a college
to a university. Have you ever been to Bowling Green? It is a pretty little town.
T: No, but I well remember Bowling Green, because during the depression in 1933 I
lost out at Washington and Jefferson College and among other places I applied
to Western Kentucky.
J: Yes, sir, that is the...
T: State normal school, I believe it was then.
T: I thought I had the appointment, but when the decision was made the Board of
Trustees decided that I had not. Since I had not been born in Kentucky, they
would rather give it to a native of Kentucky, even though I had lived there from
1906 on and graduated from the public school system and the University of
Kentucky. My father was head of the chemistry department. That did not make
J: It seems a strange pre-requisite, does it not?
J: Your father was a chemist.
J: Did he try to push you into chemistry a little bit, or did you more or less gravitate
to math and economics?
T: Well, he was always disappointed that I had no interest in chemistry, which I did
not. I took freshman chemistry and passed it, but that is as far as I went. At that
time I was interested in mathematics, and Kentucky had an excellent staff of
teachers in economics and mathematics. But as I say, when I became exposed
to economic studies in my junior year I felt that is where I belonged rather than in
J: Let us talk about your family a little bit. I see the book over there, The Tuttle
Family. Can you trace that back several generations? Is that a revolutionary
type family or is it here in the states that...
T: No. Our family...
J: Nineteenth century or something?
T: ...in this country goes back to 1638.
J: '38. It is an English name, Tuttle?
T: It was a William Tuttle who came over from England. He first settled in New
Hampshire, and then the family moved down into Massachusetts. My
grandfather settled on a farm near Holyoke, Massachusetts, and then later
moved to Hadley, where my father was born. He was the youngest of eleven
children, of whom four were boys. Only the oldest boy remained on the farm.
One brother became a professor of economics, but that did not influence me.
Another one became a prominent physician in New York City. And of course my
father was interested in chemistry and got his Ph.D. degree in Gottingen,
Germany in 1893.
J: These were the days when you had to go abroad, I guess, for a graduate
T: I do not think, unless it was Harvard, any American universities were granting
Ph.D.s in chemistry at that time.
J: I do not think there was.
T: He got his degree in '93, and returned to Penn State where he remained until
J: How long did he live? Did he live into the thirties and so forth?
T: No. He was eighty-six years old when he died in 1950.
J: Did you have brothers, sisters?
T: I have one sister who still lives in the old home which we bought in Lexington in
1906. She is about a year and a half older than I am, has never married. She
was librarian at the University of Kentucky for many, many years.
J: She would be a very interesting person to chat with. It is too bad she is not here.
T: Yes, and she has many loyal friends not only in Lexington but elsewhere. The
president of the American Library Association a year or two back got his initial
training under my sister. She was always very proud of that. He has never
forgotten her. He always remembers her.
J: Library career is a fascinating career.
T: Well, my daughter had a library degree from Florida State University, and she
married a man who obtained a library degree over there and is now associate
librarian in the Hume Library here at the University of Florida. The closest I ever
came to being librarian was being chairman of the Library Committee of the
College of Business Administration for many years.
J: That is something I will definitely want to talk to you about because it was an
important era there. When did you go to graduate school now? Did you find a
teaching position after graduating from University of Kentucky, or did you decide
to go ahead to graduate school?
T: No, when I graduated from Kentucky I taught at Blair Academy in New Jersey,
taught mathematics. Then the next year I filled in some gaps in my economics
studies at Yale University after which I went to the University of Illinois in 1922 as
an assistant instructor. Strangely enough, Red Grange and I entered the
University of Illinois the same year. But not many people know that I entered at
that time. Red is quite well known.
J: Well. Did you know him rather well, or did you just have a passing acquaintance
with him, Red Grange, at all?
T: I never met Red. I used to see him quite frequently, but I did not know him
personally. I saw all the games he played there in Champaign. He certainly was
a marvelous player.
J: Quite a figure. That was rough football in those days. Well, it is still rough. But I
think it was more ramble and razzle-dazzle in those days than perhaps it is now.
I was thinking he went to Michigan, but he did go to Illinois.
T: No, I went to the University of Illinois.
T: I got a master's degree there in 1924. Then I became an instructor in economics
in 1926 and had to give up graduate studies for a while on account of weak eyes.
They could not stand the strain. Then in 1929 I was appointed assistant
professor of economics at Washington and Jefferson College in Washington,
Pennsylvania, which is about twenty-six miles southwest of Pittsburgh. I stayed
there four years during which time all the banks in Washington except one
closed. The Board of Trustees at Washington and Jefferson College let out X
number of faculty of which I was one. Then I went to the University of Iowa in
Iowa City in June of 1933 and obtained my Ph.D. in economics there in August,
J: Was this an assistantship at Iowa or a teaching...?
T: It was a scholarship at Iowa.
J: Well, that was fortunate in those days particularly...
T: Well, all it paid was tuition. I was notified in either December or January that I
would not return to Washington-Jefferson the following year, and out of my
meager salary I saved enough to carry me through my whole program at the
University of Iowa.
J: Odd jobs along the way of just very frugal?
T: No, the only jobs I had were judging debating contests for which I had no
qualifications, and I proctored some hour examinations at the University of Iowa
at the high rate of 35 cents an hour.
J: Did not know what to do with all the money, did you?
T: But prices were unbelievably low. I hesitate to quote some of them from memory
because I know you will not believe me. We could buy the best pork sausage in
the world, two pounds for a quarter. Bread was still 5 cents a loaf. Eggs were
two dozen for 25 cents. Other fruits, vegetables or meats were correspondingly
low. Food in public places could be had for, oh, anywhere from 35 cents to $1.00
a person. The best food there was, too. That is the only reason I was able to get
through at Iowa City with no income at all since June of 1933.
J: What was you degree? You said economics? Did you have a specialty in
economics at the time?
T: Well, I specialized in money and banking.
J: Those are some...
T: I wrote my doctor's dissertation on the history of branch banking in the United
States prior to 1860.
J: Sounds rather interesting.
T: I touched upon economic history as well as on banking.
J: Those were interesting times to be studying banking and money during the
thirties there. I think economic history is very important.
T: Well, branch banking was pretty well established on a state basis. The states of
Indiana and Iowa probably had the soundest systems. However, when the
national banking system was established in 1863 branch banking at all levels
went out of existence.
J: So in '34 you graduated from Iowa.
T: Yes, and in 1934 jobs were extremely scarce. I was offered the principalship of a
high school in a town near Iowa City at thirty-five dollars a month which, of
course, I turned down. In September I accepted the position as professor of
economics and head of the department of economics at Southwestern College in
Winfield, Kansas, which was a relatively small Methodist school, but a very good
one. A number of its graduates went on to graduate schools at the University of
Kansas or the University of Illinois or other well-known institutions.
J: You did not stay there very long, though, I guess.
T: I was there only one year and I have often wondered maybe if I should have
remained there instead of coming to Florida.
J: Well, that is something you always wonder about.
T: Those years were hard years.
J: Had you met Mrs. Tuttle in these years yet?
T: I met her at the University of Illinois in 1929. She was a graduate student in
mathematics. We married on September first of 1929, and as bride and groom
went to Washington, Pennsylvania. I have already said we stayed there for four
years. My daughter, Clara Francis, was born there in 1933. So when I went to
Iowa City that summer, my wife and daughter went to my wife's home in
Pittsburg, Texas. Then in September they came up to Iowa City where I had
found an apartment.
J: Yes. What brought you to the University of Florida? We mentioned earlier, you
know, do you think this gentlemen died accidentally? Did you have some kind of
feelers out as far as job openings and so forth?
T: Yes. My salary at Southwestern College was $1800 a year of which only 60
percent was guaranteed. Southwestern had most of its endowment invested in
wheat lands, and the price of wheat fell to an extremely low level, so that its
income was correspondingly low. Being a Methodist college and having a
Methodist minister as its president, the college felt its duty was to accept
students of the Methodist faith whether they could pay tuition or not. So many of
them came and never paid tuition. Conditions were so bad that in the next year,
1935, our contracts were for the same money values, but no guaranteed
minimum as there had been. That is when I became interested in moving.
J: Well, I do not blame you. I am sure Mrs. Tuttle agreed.
T: I put out feelers to many universities and received a sizable number of returns,
among them was the University of Florida.
J: What had you heard about the University of Florida, anything at this time? Any
particular name person here that you wanted to work with?
T: The former professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky, John J. Tigert
was president of the University of Florida, and as a friend I wrote to him and he
turned my letter over to Dean Matherly.
J: I did not realize Dr. Tigert went to Kentucky.
T: Yes, he went there as a football coach at which he was very successful.
J: He was quite an athlete himself, I think.
T: Then he was told that his wife did not marry a football coach and he would have
to choose between her and football. He was then the president of Wesleyan
College which at that time was located in Winchester, Kentucky. He moved to
the University of Kentucky where he became professor of psychology. It was
really in that connection that I first became acquainted with Dr. Tigert.
J: Did he go up to Washington about this time? Was he not connected with F.D.R.
and the board of, not the Board of Education, but some type of national
T: I am a little uncertain as to the exact date. But it was 1927, give or take a year or
two, that he became Commissioner of Education.
J: Right. Commissioner of Education.
T: In Washington.
J: Well, I see the connection now. You and Dr. Tigert met at Kentucky and you
were good friends, so naturally you would have perhaps corresponded with him
here a little bit. He turned you application over to Dean Matherly. Was he dean
at that time?
T: Yes, he was dean at that time. He came here I believe in 1924 and then in 1926
organized the College of Business Administration and became its first dean.
J: In '26 there. So you packed up and headed to Gainesville in '35.
T: I had already been teaching two weeks at Southwestern College when I received
a wire from Dean Matherly asking if I were interested in an appointment. Since I
had already signed a contract with Southwestern College I felt I could not just
pick up and leave. So I laid my cards on the table to the president and he called
a faculty council together on a Sunday afternoon. They discussed the matter
thoroughly and decided that they would permit me to break my contract. So we
made an arrangement for financial settlement to give me some money, payments
that were in arrears, and with the $300 plus a trade-in, I bought a new 1935
Chevrolet two-door sedan and packed it full of, well, what we would call junk, and
headed for Gainesville.
J: Decided to drive instead of taking the train or something.
J: Of course you had all your belongings to bring with you.
T: There were no direct train connections. I would have had to go a roundabout
J: I see.
T: Yes. I sold a good many pieces of furniture and rugs to other members of the
faculty at Southwestern College, and some parents of some of my students came
by and bought other pieces of furniture so that I really did not have to move a
great many articles. I donated four shelves of books to the Southwestern
College Library and regretted after I came to Florida that I had done so because
many times I had references to look up things in those books which I no longer
had and which at that time the University of Florida Library did not have. But I
think everything turned out for the best. Strangely enough, when we were about
ready to leave Winfield we discovered we had not packed our table silverware,
most of which were wedding presents. So I found an old dilapidated cardboard
box. I wrapped the silver and put it in there and put the box in the back of a trunk
which could not be locked. I went to a carriage factory and had a sort of a
tarpaulin made. It was just tied down in three or four places, but I figured that
nobody would look for anything valuable in that old dilapidated box. Our first
night was spent in some small town in Arkansas and since there was no parking
place nearby, I parked the car right in front of our small hotel under a street light.
Anybody could have gone in that trunk and taken out that silver, but the next
morning it was still there. I told my wife I was not going to take it in that night
because I remarked that if anybody saw me they would know there was
something in there that was valuable. If I left it in the trunk, it would not be worth
much. Well, that is one time when my psychology worked out to my advantage.
J: How long did it take to get to Gainesville from that far west in those days?
T: I spent the second night I believe in Mobile, Alabama, and then approached
Florida from the west just a few days after the destructive hurricane killed, I have
forgotten how many, soldiers encamped in Key West. Water was on both sides
of the highway, almost up to the level of the highway. It was beginning to get
dark and we began to wonder what kind of a country were we coming to.
J: It is the first time you had been south, unless you want to consider Kentucky
south somewhat, I guess.
T: When we got to Gainesville it was apparent that the storm had not done much
J: What were some of you first impressions of Gainesville? It was a rather small
town still in those days, of course.
T: I believe the population was somewhere around 13,000. We came in what is
now 441 and when we came to the fork of what is now 6th Street and 13th
Street, I came on what is now 13th to the campus. When I got there I asked
about hotels and there were not any in that neighborhood. I was directed
downtown first to the White House Hotel and they wanted four dollars per night
for three persons each, which I felt I could not pay. We wound up at the old
Arlington Hotel which has now been torn down just the last two or three years.
We stayed there about a week. It was owned by Fred Cohen who is still living
and is a large land-owner in Gainesville. We moved to a house on what was
then College Park.
J: Decided to go ahead and buy a house rather than rent.
T: It was just west of the Sigma Nu house, but I have forgotten the name of that
street now since it has been numbered. No, we moved from that house where
we had a special arrangement to an apartment on North Roper, which is now
Northeast 7th Street. We stayed there almost a year and then moved to
Northeast Church Street which is now Northeast 4th Avenue. We had a very,
very lovely convenient apartment which had been rented at twenty-five dollars a
month. When I applied Mr. Williams told me that he felt he would have to get
$27.50 a month which I gladly paid.
J: So your wife and daughter and you moved in, this was in...
J: What were your first impressions of the campus? I guess you met Dean
Matherly in this first week.
T: Yes. I met the dean right away.
J: Was this at Anderson Hall or Peabody? Where was economics and business?
T: No, he was in Anderson Hall at that time.
T: His wife very graciously came down to the hotel where we were staying, and
invited us to the faculty reception which would be held that week. Mrs. Matherly
was a very gracious woman, lovely, and did much, I am sure, to promote Dean
Matherly's success, at least in a social way.
J: Did you meet President Tigert this first week?
T: Yes. I believe that both Dr. and Mrs. Tigert were at that faculty reception and we
met them there. I renewed acquaintances with him and he remembered me.
The fact is I knew both of them. They were very gracious and kind. At that time
the president's house was on the Boulevard at the corner of, I believe, what is
now 3rd Street and the Boulevard. It was a large house with a large yard and is
still standing, but I do not remember who lives in it at the present time.
J: Let us talk about the economics department in those days. I guess it was an
actual department. It was not part of another department, was it?
T: When I came here...
J: How many persons were connected and so forth?
T: I was the eighteenth member of the faculty of the College of Business
J: Now this is in 1935, right?
T: 1935. When I retired in 1967 there were more than eighteen faculty members in
the Department of Economics alone, which gives some idea of the growth of the
institution. In 1935 there was only one department, and Dean Matherly was also
head of the economics department. There were not enough students to justify
departmentalizing the college at that time.
J: What courses were offered? What type of teaching load did you have now? You
just, were you an assistant professor when you came?
T: Well, when I first came here I taught mostly out of my field because I took the
place of a man who had recently resigned to go to the REA in Alabama. I had a
course in business administration. Another one was some kind of a personnel
management course, neither one of which I was trained to teach.
J: I have spoken with a lot of persons. That always ends up being the case, seems
like. At the beginning anyway. Just about all faculty members.
T: Well, the dean told me before I came that such would be the case, but he said
the second year justice would be made. I taught courses in what they now call
basic economics and money and banking. At various times I have taught
business law, advertising, investments, labor problems and economic history.
J: Did Dean Matherly give you pretty much a free hand as far as the curriculum that
you want to, once it was set up at the beginning of the term, as far as the actual
teaching of these courses?
T: Well, yes. Because the first year I came here I had to take what was already
T: But after that I had the courses in basic economics and John Eldridge was as
near a head of that division as any.
J: Let us talk about Dr. Eldridge. I hear he was somewhat of a maverick, you might
say, over the years.
T: Yes, he was. He had a very unfortunate marital experience of which I do not
think we have to go into here. But he was a very independent man and a
somewhat severe critic of anybody in the university at any level. Nobody was
spared his sharp tongue, even Dr. Tigert, or Dean Matherly or anybody else.
J: Seems like a curious thing. What brought this on, perhaps besides maybe some
personal domestic problems? Did he have any basis for any of this? Probably
not a lot of times. What was it centered around, administrative or what, other
departmental struggles or what?
T: Yes, I think that his criticism probably was more severe with the administration
than anywhere else. When the College of Health...
T: Athletics and what? Physical Education, was first established, he was extremely
bitter in his criticism of that organization.
J: This was when Dutch Stanley organized this?
T: Dutch Stanley was the first dean, and his [Eldridge's] bitterness reached higher
than the level of the dean to the Board of Trustees, I believe it was called then.
J: What was Eldridge's position exactly? Was he just a faculty member?
T: He was professor of economics.
J: Oh, I see. But he did not serve on any particular board of committee or anything.
He was just...
T: Well, he was on several committees. He antedated Dean Matherly on this
J: Maybe that was the basis for some of his criticism.
T: Well, it could have been.
J: He probably thought he was an oldtimer and had the right to say some things, I
T: John was an excellent teacher, probably one of the best that has ever been on
the campus. He certainly was a unique character. Students were extremely
loyal to him. If there were multiple sections of the courses he taught, and he
could not handle them all, his sections filled up long before anybody else's.
J: How did the other faculty members take this from Dr. Eldridge? People like
Dutch Stanley. I can see a lot of animosity there.
T: I never hear Dutch say a word, though I know he must have felt badly about it.
But I think everybody on the campus knew John Eldridge, knew that he was
sensitive, his family problems, and were somewhat sympathetic toward him.
J: Did he retire within these years? Soon after this, or...
T: No, he retired long before he was compelled to. I think he just got tired of
everything that was going on on the campus and some of the innovations that
were being made. John owned a farm in North Carolina and retired to take up
farming. He thought he could take Marybelle, his wife, with him which he did, but
I believe had to return her to an institution.
J: While we are talking about personalities, what about this M.D. Anderson, now? I
have heard some things about him.
T: M.D. Anderson was a very colorful character.
J: He was in the business school?
T: He was in the business school. Taught economics. One interesting thing about
M.D. was that his office and classrooms were on the top floor of Anderson Hall.
There was only one stairwell from the ground to the third floor and no fire escape.
So he had a big rope, probably an inch or inch and a half in diameter, which he
had tied to a radiator and coiled around on the floor, because he said if a fire
ever started in Anderson Hall he was going down that rope.
J: Well, I do not much blame him.
T: He knew he could not get down the stairwell.
J: I am surprised the fire department let that exist.
T: Then a good many years after we moved into what is now Matherly Hall a fire did
occur, most of which I believe was on the third floor. So his fears at long last
J: Anything else about Anderson? What did he teach? Was it economics? Or was
T: Who? M.D.?
J: Anderson, right.
T: M.D. taught economics. He had a mathematical mind, and he wrote, I believe,
two books on econometrics. For some reason neither one of them was adapted
to, shall I say, Florida students, or did not fit in well with the curriculum at our
J: Did you have time in these days to do any research? I know you were pretty
busy just teaching.
T: Well, for a good many years I had at least four sections. One year I think I had
five, and enrollments of anywhere from forty to fifty students to a section. It did
not leave much time for independent research. I was a firm believer in short
quizzes and had to grade my own papers. That took a great deal of time.
J: I can imagine.
T: It was in, I believe, the mid-1950s that I became interested in writing a book, an
economic history of the United States. Sometimes in late afternoons and every
night after supper, four and five nights a week, I came over to the office to work
on that book. I believe I took eleven years to complete the book partly because
of delays at the publishing level. I usually say that it took ten years to write. It
was published by Southwestern Publishing Company. It carries a date of 1970,
though it could have been issued in spring of 1969. There were one or two other
textbooks in the field that carried a 1969 date, but Southwestern wanted to have
a more recent date, so they put it off till 1970.
J: In other words this was published after you retired, or are you meaning '59 and
'60 instead of '69 and '70?
T: I retired in 1967. The book was published in 1970 after I had retired. That was
one reason I had difficulty in finding a publisher. Several editors were well
pleased with the manuscript. When they found I was approaching seventy they
said that they were not interested. Southwestern would not have taken it unless I
could have found a co-author who was much younger. Joe Perry had been
brought to this campus really to take my place in economic history, and he
agreed to co-author my book. The text had already been written, but he did a
great deal in editing the text after Southwestern received it, and he is responsible
for most of the questions and answers at the end of the chapters.
J: It is a textbook on economic history then.
T: Yes. Unfortunately from my standpoint he became head of the economics
department at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, and I have not seen
Joe now for several years. But he was an extremely capable man, and one that
everybody liked. It was really Roy Lassiter, who was professor of economics
here and became, I believe, dean of Academic Affairs at North Florida, who
called Joe to go over there. I do not know the comparative salaries, but I am
sure that in addition to a higher position he received a large increase in salary.
J: What is the name of this book of yours? For the Record we should...
T: The title is An Economic History of the United States.
J: Is it by Frank W. Tuttle and Perry?
T: Yes, Joe Perry. It is Tuttle and Perry. I have a copy over here. You can see it a
little later if you want to. It has done very well and I think we have about arrived
at the time when its first revision is due. I have not heard from the publisher on it.
But every six to seven years they like a...
J: Revised edition.
T: ...a newer date.
J: Has it come out in paperback?
T: No, it did not come out in paperback. For some reason or other Southwestern
did not go for the paperback idea.
J: Books are so expensive nowadays the students, I think they try to, even though
they have a hardback originally they try to get a paperback edition out.
T: Well, that entered into the completion of our text. As it was originally presented,
the book would have contained almost twelve hundred pages, which
Southwestern said was all out of the question. The editor wanted to keep it down
to eight hundred pages, and it came out seven hundred and ninety-nine pages.
J: I would like to glance at it when you get through. It sounds like a very good book
and I am sure you are proud of it.
T: I think the price has been raised. At first the price, I believe, was around eight or
nine dollars. Though Southwestern has not communicated with me in that
respect, I have reason to think that it costs somewhere around twelve dollars
now, though I may be wrong.
J: That would be a good guess at the increase. Textbooks are really outrageous
nowadays. Twelve dollars, fourteen, fifteen dollars. So that was published after
you retired. And you spent approximately ten years and so forth writing this.
T: Yes, it was published three years after my retirement.
J: Did Dean Matherly encourage you? When did Dean Matherly die though? He
died probably in the what, late fifties?
T: We moved in to Matherly Hall, I have forgotten whether it was the spring or fall of
1954, and he died shortly thereafter. So he has been dead now about twenty
J: Right. I guess you were all very happy with the new accommodations.
T: Oh, yes. At the same time there were several disappointments because of
rapidly rising costs along with delays in accepting bids. The elevator and air
conditioning had to be cut out of the original structure. A year or two ago, I have
forgotten now which year, both air conditioning and an elevator were installed in
J: Right. I have had a class or two in there. As you know, they have all types of
subjects taught in these buildings, even though that is the business
administration school. I had a history course in there at one time.
T: We used fans of all kinds. Tall standards with rotating fans were the most
popular, and those of us who taught summer sessions here had to fight to get
control of those fans.
J: I can imagine.
T: But even then the rooms were not comfortable.
J: Who were some of the other personalities in the Department of Economics that
you would like to perhaps mention at this time.
T: Well, Mr. Dolbeare.
J: What was that name, sir?
T: Dolbeare, Harwood Dolbeare was here, and of course, John McFerren came
shortly after I did. Dr. Donovan came shortly after I did.
J: It was a rapidly expanding department then about the time you came.
T: Not until 1945.
J: After the war I guess.
T: After Pearl Harbor both students and faculty left the campus to enlist in some
branch of service to their country, and there were many vacancies in dormitories.
Many class rooms were seldom used. To fill the void created by this situation,
contracts were entered into with defense agencies under the terms of which
several hundred pre-air cadets were sent here to obtain the basic training in
mathematics, physics, economics and other studies. Members of the faculty who
remained on this campus were drafted into the service of instructing those
cadets. I was selected to teach mathematics. In order to bring us all up to the
level where we could instruct with some degree of competence, Dr. F. W.
Kokomoor gave a series of refresher classes to us. While I do not remember the
exact date, in the summer of 1943 a recruiting man from the Fourth Regional
War Labor Board in Atlanta interviewed me with the idea of filling a vacancy that
had occurred there. After obtaining my release from the man in charge of
educational work for the cadets, I went to Atlanta in August, 1943 and remained
there until June, 1946. While I was partaking in the effort to stabilize wages and
salaries to prevent runaway inflation, I did not obtain any rights that were given to
those more actively engaged in the war effort. I had temporary civil service
status and when I left there in mid-1946 I was given my deductions for
retirement, which went a long way in enabling me to purchase a home here in
Gainesville, which was the one in which I now live. Meanwhile student
enrollment of civilians on this campus dwindled to approximately 500, most all of
whom were classified as 4-F in the draft. The real expansion came after the war.
I believe when the war broke out we were just approaching the three thousand
student mark. During the war, though I was not on the campus, the enrollment
dropped to about six hundred, most of whom were 4-F's. Women were not
admitted then except in summer school. It was really after 1946 that there was
really a flood of students that arrived on the campus.
J: All the veterans returning and so forth.
T: Yes, they had veterans. Most of them were veterans, many of them much more
mature than we had been having. I am told, though I was not among them, that
they were somewhat out of patience with some of the fraternity frolics, capers,
J: I can imagine.
T: But we had some very brilliant students at that time, and I believe it was the Air
Force that had selected a number of students who were promising and were sent
largely to take accounting so that when they graduated here in accounting they
returned to the Air Force with, I have forgotten what level of rank.
J: I see.
T: They were among, I think, the better students that had ever come to the
University of Florida, at least in the College of Business Administration. Very
J: When did the Graduate School begin as far as economics and business? Do
you recall generally? The Department of Economics was separate of course I
guess by this time.
T: Yes, there was a graduate school of a kind when I came to the campus in 1935,
and I really do not recall when our college offered a number of courses of the
doctorate level. They had been giving master's degrees for some years. So it
could have been after the war. I have forgotten.
J: Could very well be.
T: ...really just when.
J: Women came in what, '48 I believe it was, was it not? Something like that. '48,
T: Yes, somewhere in there.
J: Did you have many women students in economics? Was economics a required
course in these days...
J: ...as far as the University College or general college when it got off the ground?
T: Economic courses were required of all students in the College of Business
Administration and of the economic majors in the College of Arts and Sciences,
Departments of History and Political Science. Agriculture encouraged their
students to take courses in economics, but they were not required.
J: I see. What did you think of the University College concept when it came about?
T: Well, I would rather not get involved in that, but personally I was never very
sympathetic towards the program of the University College. I was never
assigned to teach courses listed as University College courses. Basic economics
was a sophomore course in the University College, but it was administered
entirely by the College of Business Administration, and was not considered a
University College course, though it was given a "C" course designation.
J: Generally speaking, you do not have to dwell upon this at any length, but just,
was it the philosophy of U.C. as far as you thought... in other words, the students
should be able to go into economics or business right away if he was that
interested in it without going through these two years of prior...foundation type
T: Well, I was one of a minority on this campus that felt that the so-called general
education should come at the end of the four years rather than at the beginning
of a four year period. Let the students take their specialty courses at least the
first two years and possibly some of the third and then broaden out. But that was
in direct conflict with the philosophy of general education.
J: Yes, that would be just a complete opposite, would it not? Yes, but I think there
was something to be said for that, what you say. It is just one of those things.
You were probably just outvoted and out...
T: I did not have a chance to vote because that had been decided...
J: Oh, yes.
T: ...before I came to the campus. But... that was my feeling.
J: I am sure some others perhaps agreed with you to a certain extent. I think it is a
very controversial area, University College. It still is-- on the campus. I know the
students are not very happy with it generally speaking, many of them.
T: Well, of course I have hardly been on the campus since 1967. But I have been
told that the University College right now is a far different organization than it was
prior to that time.
J: Some of the top-notch faculty members are in U.C. In fact some of them like it
very much, enough to just stay in it.
T: Dr. Tigert gained national fame on the basis of the adoption and implementation
of a general education idea.
J: A lot of textbooks were written in those days geared just to the University College
level. Too bad yours did not come along a little bit earlier. It probably would
have been used in U.C.
J: How is your family doing these days now? This was after the war, you know.
Your daughter was in school, I guess, at Florida State, what, in the early fifties, I
T: Yes. My wife taught mathematics at the Gainesville High School for many, many
years. It was with her assistance that we were able to send my son, Charles, to
Trinity College in Connecticut, and my daughter, Clara Francis, to Florida State
J: What did your son pursue?
T: It may seem strange, though I did not influence him, he majored in economics
and did very well, and upon graduation was granted a scholarship or something
of that kind with the Irving Trust Company in New York in connection with MBA
studies at New York University. He did very well both in the bank and in the MBA
program and stayed with the Irving Trust for several years. Then he accepted a
position in a bank in Manchester, New Hampshire. He stayed there four years.
Then he got the idea he wanted to be a veterinarian.
J: That is quite a jump, is it not?
T: ...difficulties of entering veterinary schools, of which there were only a few then,
persuaded him to seek elsewhere. He did go to Ohio State University and was
told there that it would be easier to enter the veterinary school through the
College of Agriculture than through the graduate school. So he went back and
got an undergraduate degree in agriculture specializing in dairy science. Then
he went on, got a master's degree in dairy science and still veterinary studies
were far beyond him. So he returned to banking and is now employed at the
Huntington National Bank in Columbus, Ohio, and has a very responsible
J: So he came back to banking? Well, I know people who every once in a while get
an idea of doing something else. Well, it is good in certain ways, you know. You
can branch out if you want to do something. I do not believe you should ever do
something you do not like no matter what it is. If you have a different goal
perhaps, you can always pursue it.
T: Well, when he went into dairy science studies he got the idea he wanted to be a
manager of a dairy and he made a short thing of it. But he went into an
organization in which there were three partners, two of them were in close
accord, but the third was way out. After only a short time there he was able to
return to the bank. I say return to the bank because all during his studies in
agriculture he worked at night in the operations division of the Huntington Bank
and he went to school from eight o' clock in the morning until five and then
started in at the bank and worked until eleven o' clock every night except
Sunday. Well, that was pretty hard on him and his family. So when he went
back he accepted a position in the commercial loan department, and more
recently has been struggling with a problem that has confronted a good many
banks in Florida, and that is the financing of condominiums. But from the latest
reports he has done very well.
J: Well, I am glad to hear that. We were looking into condominiums ourselves
recently and we are still debating whether to pursue it, somewhat hesitant about
the whole thing.
T: They had somewhat the same experience at the Gaineswood Condominium
here. The bank finally had to take it over for nonpayment of loans. But the bank
found somebody to take it over without much loss to the bank.
J: Well, I think you have had a career you can be proud of. I think you have a
family you can be proud of. Have we touched upon, you think, adequately what
you would like to say? I mean this is, of course, your interview now. If there is
some things you would like to bring out, you know, and mention that I of course
have not mentioned. There is several things I know we could talk about. Any
particular personalities you would like to...
T: Well, we have mentioned some interesting personalities in the college, but
unfortunately I can remember some of the incidents, but I do not remember the
J: The names, yes.
T: And I would rather not go into it.
J: You were in the college when it was really booming, particularly right after the
T: Oh, yes.
J: You have seen it when it was very small all the way up to '67 when it was one of
the largest colleges.
T: We have not touched much upon my chairmanship of the library committee.
J: Right, that is something I want to end up, I think here, because that is one of the
high points I believe.
T: When I took over the holdings in economics in the university library you would
say were relatively inadequate. I spent hours and hours in going over catalogues
and lists of old books, some in this country, many in foreign countries, and I must
say now that we have a very adequate library in the fields of subject matter of
business administration. Some years ago Dr. Heubner of the Wharton School,
who was a leader in insurance education, came down and after going through
our holdings told us that we had the best collection in life insurance south of John
J: Well, thanks to you in large part.
T: I was proud to say that I had a lot to do with that.
J: Could you obtain a lot of these books? So many of them go out of print so
quickly. Did you have difficulty actually acquiring them?
T: Yes, we did. We had an arrangement with some of the dealers in old books, that
even though we did not have money to pay spot cash, they would reserve them
for us. When we had the money we would pay for them. Yes, and we used a
good many telegrams and special delivery letters to get in touch with the dealers
and get some of these books because they were of the nature that they were in
demand by any institution that was trying to build up a graduate level of
J: Of course, the library is one of the main factors in any graduate program. You
have to have an adequate library and support it.
T: More recently a good many of the old books that were unobtainable have been
reprinted since their copyright dates expired. Many of them now are also
available in paperbacks so that we have a large collection available now. There
is not a scramble among libraries to get hold of some of these scarce copies. It
also means that persons who have the clothbound books have difficulty in
disposing of them except as gifts because they are available in the cheap
paperback editions. It is only those persons who are interested in first editions or
something like that who will pay for the clothbound books now.
J: Who did you work with on the library committee to build up your library?
T: Well, we had a library committee in the college whose personnel changed every
J: I see.
T: But I worked very closely with the head of the Acquisitions Department and the
serials librarian in the university library. They would send me lists, many of which
I had not seen and which turned out to be very fruitful as far as new acquisitions
were concerned. So I presume my closest connections in that regard were with
the acquisitions librarians, the first of whom were Miss Lily Carter and Mrs. Sue
Walker, and then more recently Miss Alice McNary. I really do not know who had
those positions now. I kind of lost out over there and...
J: I should say, it has changed so much.
T: ...Mrs. Brown from Alabama had it for a few years. But I really do not know who
is there now.
J: That is quite a feather in your cap anyway to have done this because I am
familiar to some extent with library work and I know that is quite an effort to build
up a library from almost scratch like that.
T: Well, in addition to the funds that came from the University itself Dean Grinter of
the Graduate School was willing to allocate money from some special fund that
he had, and it was with his assistance that we obtained many volumes that
otherwise we could not have gotten. Then we had a plan among ourselves of
books that would overlap several disciplines.
J: Oh, I see.
T: The history and political science and economics (departments) would go
together. Each one would make a contribution, and that way we could get
volumes that neither one of these departments could buy of themselves but
which all of them could use.
J: That was a good idea.
T: Then we had a reserve fund, and I was on the Reserve Committee of the library
for many years. We had a reserve fund set up for what you might call
emergency purposes. And volumes that could not be purchased out of the
regular allocation might be obtained through the reserve fund. We would make
our case with the Reserve Committee as to why we need certain acquisitions. I
was rather successful in obtaining, well, I would almost say more than our share
of those reserve funds. The fact that I was chairman of the Business
Administration Library Committee and also on the Reserve Fund Committee, I
am sure did not hurt me in getting some of that money.
J: You could say they went hand in hand then. The Business Administration Library
now is in, I was over there looking up some things in economic history. I did not
have a bit of trouble. I found just the reference I needed and everything else,
and they have so much microfilming and so forth, now you know, a good
T: I think a great deal of it...
J: Past issues and so forth.
T: ...has been put on microfilm now.
J: It is quite difficult to use sometimes. But it is, of course, so much more, as far as
budgets go it is much easier to get the microfilm than it is the actual works so
many times. There is so much data nowadays, as you know, it almost has to be
on microfilm. You almost have to have a degree in library science to know how
to use the material. So that is one of the high points of your time here, I think,
was this library committee. I do not envy you because I know that was a rough
job getting that built up. Just checking bibliographies and the availability of these
things is enough to drive anybody crazy, I tell you, because I have done some of
that myself. Did Mrs. Mims, was she not one of the librarians?
J: Mims, Miss Mims, or was she connected I think maybe with the General College
library. I cannot recall her first name.
T: Well, I do not recall that name myself. Was she with Continuing Education?
J: She may have been. It is just a name I just thought of. I was thinking she had
something to so with acquisitions, but perhaps not.
T: Well, she may have. I did not know all of the personnel in there by any means.
J: Now that you are retired what do you think about everything? If you had anything
to change would you still come to the University of Florida?
T: I think so.
J: Yes. It seems to have been very good to you over the years.
T: Yes, it is a very nice place. While other younger men sought jobs elsewhere at
higher salaries, I felt the general climate and personal relationships here had
some monetary value.
J: Oh, sure.
T: But I just decided to stay here.
J: Yes. I think a lot of people feel that.
T: Then after you have been here X number of years the state retirement system is
such that a person loses quite a bit when he leaves. We have had one of the
best state retirement systems of any state in the United States. A very, very
excellent system. It applies now to high school teachers as well as the university
J: When you retired in '67 did you have any ideas of what the business school
needs in the coming years? Do you foresee any particular trend starting out now
as far as education and business?
T: Well, there was a strong trend at that time towards mathematical approach to
J: Quantification and so forth.
T: Yes. But while I have not been over there I have been told that the faculty is
easing up on the mathematical approach style and going back into the traditional
approach. Personally I have maintained that man does not live according to a
mathematical formula, and economics attempts to describe how man makes a
living. Even if you study man collectively there may be only a few instances in
which the mathematical formulas are applicable. In general man makes his own
decisions, and they vary a great deal from person to person and from locality to
locality. It is very difficult to formulate an individual's behavior in terms of
J: That is a very good point. I know in history now they are trying to get into more
quantification. But I think they are realizing, of course, it has to be a balanced
J: You are still a humanist basically, you know. Even though you can come up with
some interesting statistics history is still a story and it is a humanistic approach. I
think that is why some persons do not like economics. There is too much jargon
and there is too much quantification, you know, and it sometimes loses the
human aspect of economics, which is, here again, what it is basically. As you
say, it is man earning a living. That is what it is when you come right down to it,
and how he goes about that. Yes, that is an interesting point. Well, we have
talked ninety minutes here. It is hard to believe almost.
T: Yes, we have, have we not?
J: Each one of these sides is forty-five minutes.
T: The time has passed very quickly.
J: I think we have covered quite a bit. I mentioned I would like to see your texts. I
want to make a note of that because I want to add it to your transcript and have it
available, you know, to anyone that is interested in looking at it when they look
over this transcript on occasion.